Date night with my sis...

Last night, as I mentioned in my previous blog, I had to work on a book report. However, Mel and I had been making plans to see the movie Fame for a long time, and some much needed sister bonding time was needed. True to tradition, after the movie, we got really hyper, and it was awesome! I am so glad we were able to get away, and just have fun together. We really enjoyed the movie, which is basically a story following about six people through their highschool experience at a performing arts academy. Each of the teenagers has a passion, or, more truthfully, a particular skill they are talented at, such as drama, singing, dancing, or performing music. The movie showcased their struggles as they sought to make a name for themselves in the world, as well as the triumphs they created within friendships or joining a well-renowned dance troupe. It wasn't so much a musical as much as it was just a movie talking about real people living their lives. For the record, there was no blatant sketchy scenes, which made it even better!

It was great to hang out with Mel, and I hope we can make nights like these a weekly occurrence! Love you, Mel!

I am currently listening to two of Skillet's new singles, and can't wait to hear the rest of their newest album.


Oh History...How we love thee...

I am in the midst of writing a book report for History class. I know I am stalling right now, but I have been at it for an hour now, and decided to share an interesting paragraph I came across:

"Other issues also provoked controversy. History teachers at all levels have a responsibility to determine what sort of history they want their students to learn. Is memorizing "the facts" enough, or is it also necessary to instill a sense of critical and analytical thinking, a set of skills regarded in some circles as potentially seditious...Among other things, the study of history addresses questions of national identity and unavoidably arouses partisan debate." (History and Historians, Mark T. Gilderhus, p. 118).

Before reading this book, I had no idea that history created such a controversy like it does. I am chagrined to say it, but I believe that it was good to read such a dry book. In retrospect, I now understand why teachers make us do the things we do. What we sometimes think is a pain and just one more thing to do for school, professors know what the outcome will be. They enjoy challenging and stretching us, and I am happy that it still happens, no matter what year this history course is geared for.

I wasn't expecting to write my next blog about this, and perhaps neither were you. Bellydancing was high on the priority list, as was my week-end and speaking Portuguese on Sunday. However, God knows differently, and He alone knows why I start to understand things as I write about them seven hours before they are due.




Screens and Blinds...

Mandy and I were on a hunt for a screen and some blinds for her window. It was fun, and we felt like we accomplished something! I hope our landlord doesn't mind. We just borrowed them from the spare room upstairs! No one is living there right now anyways, so it doesn't really matter who has them.

It's another beautiful day outside today. I am so grateful to God for giving them to us, and absolutely do not want winter to come! I love this weather so much.

I have a greek quiz this week, on the alphabet and syllablizing. It should be interesting!



Breathing life...

I know I already posted a blog today, but I needed to write more. Tonight I stepped out for something, and quickly went back inside to change. I was resolved to go for a run. What a gorgeous night, thought I, and how could I let it slip by? With my house key firmly planted in my shoe, and determination in my step, I set off. As I started out, I kept a steady pace, and soon my lungs informed me of how out of shape I am. "You haven't run since July, maybe even June" they said. "You haven't even exercised very much of late." Needless to say, they weren't very encouraging. However, as my feet devoured the pavement and the movement covered my body in a sheen of sweat, I remembered how, back in April, I wasn't even at this place. How I couldn't even walk up a flight of stairs. How it hurt too much to do one push-up, let alone ten, which I accomplished tonight. God is so good, and He is the ultimate healer! I felt so blessed to have the strength in my legs to keep pressing on, the air in my lungs which coursed oxygen through me, and the sweat of good exercise running down my back. There are so many worse things that could have happened to me. And yet God breathed life back into me. He gave me the breath of life, not only back to my lungs and bloodstream, but also in my spiritual life. He alone is my strength, and He alone is the one I want to pursue, with perseverence, pressing onward and never looking back!

Week-end and Kind hearted people...

This week-end was the Heritage retreat. It was a lot of fun, and I am so glad I went. Also, the speaker, who happened to be Jake's cousin, was incredible. God placed some strong and important things on his heart to say to us about holiness and where it begins.

I went to the grocery store today with only a $20 bill because I didn't want to spend so much, and when my total went over and I had to give up my avocados, the man behind me in line offered to pay for them for me! He was a total stranger, and it was so nice of him to do that! Now I am excited to go eat some avocados.

Bellydance starts up this week. I can hardly wait, as there is so much anticipation!



First Day of Class...

Today was my first day of classes this year, and it was Greek. I have been so pumped to take this course, and the first thing he had us do was review English grammar. I want to get really good at it! (especially if I am going to teach ESL one day!)

My prof also had us introduce ourselves, where we are from, and what our language background is. Of course I was the last one, and my heart was beating so fast I could barely think. I was pretty sure it was going to pound right out from beneath my rib cage! I get so passionate for languages. When that excitement takes over, I can't help but grin from ear to ear. I get revved up for many things, but definitely not as much as I do about languages. I just know that God has given me a talent, and a love, for such a diverse thing he created within the midst of chaos. The diversity in communication did not come about until the Tower of Babel, and I am so glad God created it! Otherwise, maybe I would have had to be a professional belly dancer or something like that (grins facetiously).



So many things...

I want to go so many places.

I have so many dreams.

None of them can be realized at once.

And I am not the one who can make them come true.

I hear Brasil calling my name,

And India beckons me to return.

I want to teach English/help people to learn.

I want to immerse myself in the cultures, the sights, the smells, the love of people that are so different yet so much the same.

I just want to do what God wills.

I just want to be who He wants me to be.

I just want to live.

And love.

And travel.

And learn.

And share.

And experience.


But we can't have it all.

And I don't know what to do.





I hear you calling...

This morning was registration, and since I am only taking two courses this semester, I have considerably less to pay for. Praise the Lord for how He has provided for me so far; I will continue to trust in his provisions for the future. I didn't have to buy 3 out of the 4 textbooks, thanks to friends and the library. That alone saved me over $200 if you can believe it! Thanks to Rob and Dave for lending me two of the most expensive texts!

I am in the midst of doing laundry, and although I have a clothes line, I don't have any of those fancy clips you put on the line to prevent it from sagging. You don't realize all the little things that come in handy until you don't have them anymore. I just left it sagging, and hopefully it doesn't break! My towels are sopping wet, as I am still trying to figure out my old school washing machine.

I really need a day to just be on my own, and putter around my house, but that won't happen for a while yet. I am so tired and feel like my life is on the constant go right now. It could be because I live off campus and have yet to plan my day so that I won't have to keep walking back and forth, back and forth. It is interesting, that's for sure!

The sun is so beautiful today! How can anyone resist spending a little time outside?!



Corporate Worship is awesome...

Today was move in day for residence. Since I am no longer living in rez, it was rather strange for me. However, I am excited to make friends with people on campus.

We had the praise and worship night, with a few games beforehand to get to know one another and to make things less awkward. It continually amazes me how a bunch of people who don't know each other can come together as Christians and praise our Lord together, because we are united in Him. Praise Jesus! I was so blessed tonight, and felt that God was glorified through our worship to Him! I only hope that He was pleased with our acts of worship. Two of the Resident advisors gave their testimonies, ones that must have taken great courage and much prayer to share. They were both very encouraging, and showed a window of vulnerability that is so often present at this school. That is what I love, how we can be open with one another in our struggles (within the right context, of course).

While we were singing a song, I became overwhelmed with emotion. The song is called "The Stand" by Hillsong. Here are the lyrics:

You stood before creation
Eternity within Your hand
You spoke the earth into motion
My soul now to stand

You stood before my failure
Carried the Cross for my shame
My sin weighed upon Your shoulders
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I'll walk upon salvation
Your Spirit alive in me
This life to declare Your promise
My soul now to stand

So what can I say
What can I do
But offer this heart O God
Completely to You

So I’ll stand
With arms high and heart abandoned
In awe of the One who gave it all

So I’ll stand
My soul Lord to You surrendered
All I am is Yours
The part that stuck out to me the most was how we sang,

So what can I say, what can I do, but offer this heart o God completely to you.

I became unexpectedly aware of how true that was. We had just been singing about God`s sovreignty and how he placed the world into motion, how He created us. He is in control of everything. My heart was in the mix of all that back in April. It is my heart that he was, and still is, in control of. With tears streaming down my face, I understood how powerful God is, and how much he deserves my heart. He healed me and saved me when I was in the hospital for a reason: to serve Him, and Him alone. I owe him everything, even my very life! So what can I do but offer my heart completely to Him? And so I stood before Him with my arms in the air, my heart abandoned and my soul surrendered because all I have is HIS, and all that I am is HIS.





Dill Pickle chips for lunch...

I am sitting here at home, with the taste of a tangy dill pickle chip in my mouth, trying to pick out the remains that are trapped in the grooves of my molars. Seriously though, we aren't eating only that for lunch, but now that I have allowed my taste buds to experience the tantalizing taste, I simply want more. That is what can happen when we open ourselves up to sin (and no, I am not equating dill pickle chips to sin-merely using them as an analogy). When we allow for a taste, our flesh wants more. It's hard to say no to sin.

The cool thing is, God has the victory over sin! We are not going through this Christian life alone! Today, I learned that sometimes God allows us to go through temptations and suffering. He allows Satan and his evil ones to tempt us, so that we can learn how to endure. We have a choice whether to give in to him, or whether to stand firm in what we believe in Christ. It is amazing, and somewhat hard to believe. My biggest desire is to firmly root myself in Christ, to read His Word and to pray, and to surround myself with people who can encourage me in my faith. I am only human, and I know that there are times when I will give in to temptations. If I rely on God alone, every time I am tempted, instead of depending on myself, He will give me the strength to endure and to persevere in my faith.



Home Time...

So, I was able to come home for a little bit this week-end. Ash drove me up because her brother had a ball tourney. It is exciting, and good to hang out with the fam.

I had Lois over for a visit last night. We ate tortilla chips with salsa, and caught up on life. I really love and admire that girl. She is a true friend, who isn't afraid to be honest, and speak the truth!

I don't like shucking corn, but I guess Mom is making it for dinner, so she had us do it. There were two bags, so I challenged Van to a contest to see who could shuck it the fastest. I have never had so much fun shucking corn in my life!




Sweet hearts, bitter hearts, now I can't tell you apart...

I am feeling very relaxed and rested today. I am just taking it easy, even though I have to work in a couple of hours.

My date with Jake was splendid, and even though we went down by the river, I only received a grand total of ONE mosquito bites! I learned my lesson, and wore socks. The moon was so pretty, and we enjoyed every moment. We also practiced a song we're singing together for my friend's wedding next week. I don't know why it took us so long to get around to it, because I absolutely LOVE singing with him! It was so much fun! The song is an arrangement he created of four similar songs: Bubbly, by Colbie Callait, Fidelity by Regina Spektor, I'm Yours by Jason Mraz, and 1 2 3 4 by Feist. God has given him such a talent, for SO many things!

I am excited to go home this week-end. It won't be for very long, but it will be nice to see everyone for a little bit at least.



Beggin' you for mercy...

So in total contrast of my last blog, I am now listening to Mercy by Duffy. Perhaps it was just the type of music I was listening to that i was annoyed with. Because I have no problem listening to Hillsong's praise and worship. I always feel in a very worshipful mood when I listen to their songs, and I can never get enough.

I am enjoying my sessions with my missions profs, in catching up on the class I was supposed to finish much earlier. I thought it would be kind of a drag, but, since it has been more one-on-one, I am able to ask questions I wouldn't have been if it was in a classroom setting. I am learning about many of the major issues and trends in missions, such as the charismatic movement, and missionary care, and globalization of the Christian center. We only have three more meetings, and then I have to read 20 books on the topics we have discussed and do annotated bibliographies on them. After that, it is just the exam to finish and I am FINITO!!!

Last night Cait slept over and kept me company. I made Aunt Tracey's artichoke dip, and we ate that and chocolate covered cranberries and watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It was fun, and nice to spend time with her. It's funny how even though we were roommates all summer, we really didn't do too much together. I like her :)

I saw Jake for 5 minutes today, and he made me happy! Well, actually he basically tickled me the whole time, so I was laughing and gasping for air, trying to ask him to stop. It was fun!

Missy and I went out for coffee, and it was great to see her for a little bit. She's moving to college on Saturday, so the times we see each other will be few and far between I fear. Although the people whom I would consider to be my best friends live in different cities from me, I still have many amazing friends here, and I look forward to getting to know them better.

What a gorgeous day today! God is so good in giving us some wonderful last days of summer, even though it is already September. I walked home from Starbucks and was able to enjoy the sun.

I am looking forward to tonight-Jake and I are going on a date! He has been doing training all this week, so I haven't seen much of him. This is why tonight is so special, and I cannot wait!



Music Overload...

I love music. It is a passion that runs deep within me. To play, to listen and to dance to. It has been ingrained in me since I was born. From before I was born. But lately, I have had no desire to listen to music. I will turn on a song, and then get bored so I will shut it off. Or I will just get annoyed with it. This doesn't happen often. But it is concerning. And disconcerting.

Perhaps God is telling me something. To embrace and to eventually crave silence and solitude.

I hope this won't be for forever, because it feels wrong to be hatin' on music.



Already September...

I am not going to write much today. Basically I just want to say enough so that I can post something on the first day of this month.

I have two takers for belly dancing, and this makes me very excited indeed! I know we are going to have a blast.

I don't have anything else to write. Just that I am annoyed with creepers.